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Candidates 2024 R9: Vidit Gujrathi beats World no.3 Hikaru Nakamura for the second time in ten days

by Shahid Ahmed - 15/04/2024

Vidit Gujrathi bounced back well by defeating Hikaru Nakamura (USA) for the second time at FIDE Candidates 2024. The World no.3 started aggressively by pushing his pawn to g5 on sixth move. However, he blundered in the middlegame when he incorrectly attempted to regain the lost pawn. D Gukesh had a well contested draw against R Praggnanandhaa. Alireza Firouzja (FRA) made a lot of attempts to break Ian Nepomniachtchi's defenses. However, he could not find a way. After the game, Firouzja tweeted his displeasure on being told not to walk anymore because his shoe is making noise on the wooden floor. Round 10 starts today at 2:30 p.m. local time, 12 a.m. IST. Photo: FIDE/Michal Walusza

The Shoe Issue?

The tenth round witnessed only one decisive result. D Gukesh and Ian Nepomniachtchi are still in the lead scoring 5.5/9 each. Both Gukesh and Vidit have now scored three wins each at this event.

Vidit Gujrathi became the first player to beat the same opponent twice at this event | Photo: FIDE/Michal Walusza

Vidit - Nakamura: 1-0

Vidit Gujrathi (2727) defeated Hikaru Nakamura (USA, 2789) ten days ago with the black pieces showcasing his fantastic preparation. So what did Nakamura do now? He opted for the Two Knights' Defence with the black pieces, went 6...g5 immediately once Vidit castled 7.0-0. Little did the World no.3 know that the early g5 was going to haunt him later.

Position after 27...Nxe5??

Nakamura mentioned in the post-game press conference that he blundered 27...Nxe5?? He admitted overlooking 29.Nxd5! after 28.Bxe5 Bxe5 it all went downhill for Black. Instead, 27...Rcd8 28.Ng4 d4 would have kept the game going.

How Vidit Gujrathi beat Hikaru Nakamura again at the FIDE Candidates 2024 - Vlog | Video: ChessBase India
Vidit Gujrathi stuns Hikaru Nakamura Again! Commentary by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India
Interview of Vidit inside a mini-van after he beat Hikaru Nakamura | Video: ChessBase India
Hikaru Nakamura explains why he lost both his games to Vidit Gujrathi | Video: ChessBase India
Bad Things Happen When You Lose Time | Video: GMHikaru
Post-game Press Conference with Hikaru Nakamura and Vidit Gujrathi | Video: FIDE

The moment when Vidit Gujrathi won the game against Hikaru Nakamura | Photo: Maria Emelianova/
Who offered the draw here? Gukesh vs Pragg - Commentary by IM Sagar Shah | Video: ChessBase India

D Gukesh - R Praggnanandhaa: 0.5-0.5 | Photo: FIDE/Michal Walusza

Firouzja - Nepomniachtchi: 0.5-0.5

After losing the first encounter against Ian Nepomniachtchi (2758), Alireza Firouzja (FRA, 2760) was determined to score a win in their second game. He made an exchange sacrifice to get something out of the position.

Position after 33.Rg6

33.Rg6 Bxg6 34.fxg6 and White can neither get the f6-pawn nor improve his position.

Alireza Firouzja: "When a chance comes, I take it; today I couldn't find the best way." | Video: FIDE

Alireza Firouzja (FRA) tried his best but just could not find a way to break through Ian Nepomniachtchi's defenses | Photo: FIDE/Michal Walusza

Alireza Firouzja (FRA) tweeted about what he was told about his shoes

Nijat Abasov (AZE) - Fabiano Caruana (USA): 0.5-0.5 | Photo: FIDE/Michal Walusza

Photo Gallery

Aaron Reeve Mendes (CAN) made the ceremonial first move of Round 9 Open on Firouzja-Nepomniachtchi's board | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

A dejected Firouzja | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Fabiano Caruana observing Gukesh vs Praggnanandhaa | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Dr. Rajini Kanth, D Gukesh and Sagar Shah | Photo: FIDE/Michal Walusza

Can you guess who is signing the autograph? | Photo: FIDE/Michal Walusza

Nijat Abasov and R Praggnanandhaa with their fans | Photo: FIDE/Michal Walusza

Vidit and Nakamura after their game | Photo: FIDE/Michal Walusza

Time control

The time control for each game is 120 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move 41.


The total prize fund is €500000. The top three prizes are €48000, €36000 and €24000. All prize money shall be divided equally among the players with the equal score after 14 rounds regardless tie-break results. In addition, each player gets €3500 euros for every half point scored.

Replay Round 9 live stream

FIDE Candidates 2024 Round 9 Live Commentary by Amruta Mokal and GM Harshit Raja | Video: ChessBase India

Replay Round 9 games

Round 9 results

Round 9 results | Photo: FIDE


Standings after Round 9

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
GMGukesh, DIND27435,524,5030
GMNepomniachtchi, IanFID27585,522,5020
GMPraggnanandhaa, RIND2747521,0020
GMNakamura, HikaruUSA27894,519,7520
GMVidit, Santosh GujrathiIND27274,519,0030
GMCaruana, FabianoUSA28034,518,7510
GMFirouzja, AlirezaFRA27603,517,0010
GMAbasov, NijatAZE2632314,0000


Round 10 pairings

Bo.No.Rtg NameResultName RtgNo.
GMPraggnanandhaa, RGMVidit, Santosh Gujrathi
GMNakamura, HikaruGMAbasov, Nijat
GMNepomniachtchi, IanGMGukesh, D
GMCaruana, FabianoGMFirouzja, Alireza



Official site

Tournament Regulations

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